June 24, 2018  

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Listed here are members of the USM faculty at the Hattiesburg and Gulf Park campuses and additional teaching and research sites who have been identified as media experts on specific topics. To arrange an interview with one of the experts listed, please send the request to: mediaexperts@usm.edu.

American History, Civil War

Dr. Susannah Ural, Professor of History, Co-Director of the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society.

Expertise: Published and teaches courses on the U.S. Civil War era, military history, and classes relating to the larger nineteenth-century, including “Mark Twain’s America.” She also instructs history majors and graduate students on historical research and writing methods.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

American History, Vietnam War

Dr. Andrew Wiest, University Distinguished Professor of History, Founding Director of the Dale Center for the Study of War and Society.

Expertise: Renowned expert on the Vietnam War, World War I, and Modern Military History. National Geographic Channel and Lou Reda Productions based their Emmy-nominated documentary Brothers in War on Wiest’s book The Boys of ’67, with Wiest serving as lead historical advisor to the project. Has appeared in numerous Vietnam and World War I documentaries.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.


Dr. Kelly Lucas, Professor, Director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center.

Expertise: Extensive background in aquaculture. Her recent research interests involve expanded oyster aquaculture opportunities along the Gulf Coast.

Location: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

Astronomy, Weather Phenomena

Dr. Chris Sirola, Associate Professor, Physics and Astronomy.

Expertise: The effects of lunar and solar eclipses; constellations; subatomic particles; astronomy, physics and science for the public.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Child Advocacy

Karen Aderer, LMSW Instructor, Social Work.

Expertise: She has worked in a child advocacy role for much of the past 20 years on the Gulf Coast, having served most recently as the District Social Worker for Bay Waveland Schools.

Location: Gulf Park campus.

Child & Family Studies

Dr. Angel Herring, Assistant Professor, Undergraduate Program Director.

Expertise: Student supports and engagement, Common Core and pre-k/k DAP implications, social media and perception of self, parent-child relations, embedding social studies through DAP.

Location: Gulf Park campus.

College Drinking (Trends/Abuse/Treatment and Recovery)

Dr. Michael Madson, Professor, Psychology.

Expertise: substance use and misuse by college students and adults, co-occurring mental health and substance use, treatment and recovery from substance use disorders, harm reduction and prevention.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Cuban Studies

Dr. Matthew Casey, Assistant Professor of History, Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Expertise: focusing on the analysis of race, labor, and migration in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as the larger Atlantic region.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Economic Development

Dr. Chad Miller, Associate Professor/Program Coordinator, Economic Development, Tourism & Sport Management.

Expertise: economic development through improved freight transportation; economic forecasts and trends.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Dr. Shannon Campbell, Executive Director of the Trent Lott National Center.

Expertise: economic impact studies and trends; industry sector studies; human capital development; small business; entrepreneurship.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Education (Secondary Educational Boards)

Dr. David Lee, Associate Professor, Educational Administration.

Expertise: 35 years of public school leadership. Speaking and consulting for school systems and businesses all over the world.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Ethics (Business and Research), Employment Discrimination

Dr. Sam Bruton, Professor, Philosophy and Religion.

Expertise: research focuses on various topics in applied ethics, especially business ethics and research ethics.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.


Dr. Read Hendon, Professor, Associate Director of the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

Expertise: Has conducted significant research that directly affects the management of coastal resources and fishery stocks.

Location: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

Food and Nutrition

Dr. Jennifer Lemacks, Assistant Professor, Nutrition and Food Systems.

Expertise: current research activities include implementing health behavior change and nutrition education interventions to decrease preventable chronic disease and health disparities in underserved populations in the South.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Gulf Coast History, Shipbuilding

Dr. Deanne Stephens, Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters

Expertise: a specialist in pedagogical methods, has trained history majors seeking state licensure to teach social studies. Her research includes the history of women on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, yellow fever and shipbuilders in Mississippi.

Location: Gulf Park campus.

Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr. Kevin Greene, Assistant Professor, Director of the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage.

Expertise: Specializes in U.S., African American, Vernacular Music, and Transnational history. His research investigates the intersections of African American community and identity development with consumer and music culture from both a national and transnational perspective, while focusing closely on the importance of blues and jazz in those formations.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

International Development, Affairs

Dr. Ward Sayre, Chair and Professor, Director of Economics Undergraduate Program.

Expertise: research focuses on the economics of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Middle East labor markets. Sayre, along with Tarik Yousef, is the co-editor of Young Generation Awakening: Society, Economy, and Policy on the Eve of the Arab Spring.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

International Politics

Dr. Robert Pauly, Associate Professor of International Policy and Development.

Expertise: Dr. Pauly's research interests focus broadly on the fields of U.S. foreign policy, national security, homeland security, nation and state building and terrorism, with emphases on American policy toward the states of Europe and the Greater Middle East, European and Middle Eastern domestic and regional politics, the roles of Muslim communities in the West, and the evolving relationship between the Muslim and Western worlds.

Location: Gulf Park campus.

Media Representation, Black Studies

Dr. Cheryl Jenkins, Associate Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Mass Communication and Journalism.

Expertise: She has presented research on popular culture issues, minority representation in the media and cultural diversity at national and regional conferences that focus on mass and human communication.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Mississippi/American Politics

Dr. Troy Gibson, Associate Professor, Political Science Graduate Director.

Expertise: American political behavior; Religion and American Politics, Religion and Law and Public Policy; Christian Political Theology.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Mississippi Reconstruction

Dr. Max Grivno, Associate Professor of History.

Expertise: Post-Civil War Reconstruction. He is currently writing From Bondage to Freedom: Slavery in Mississippi, 1690-1865 and is researching a third book, tentatively titled Bandits, Klansmen, Rioters, and Strikers: Violence in the Alabama-Mississippi Black Belt, 1830-1917.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Nursing Education, Practices

Dr. Lachel Story, Associate Professor, Nursing.

Expertise: Adult Health and Community Based Participatory Research; Studying the relevance and effectiveness of Community Health Workers in decreasing Health Disparities.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Obesity (Childhood)

Dr. Jerome Kolbo, Professor, Social Work; Coordinator of the Master’s in Social Work Program.

Expertise: Research emphasis on obesity among children and youth in Mississippi.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Oceanography, Unmanned Maritime Systems

Dr. Monty Graham, Director of School of Ocean Science and Engineering.

Expertise: Research interests include Marine zooplankton with emphasis in gelatinous plankton ecology; Ecological implications of fishing and climate change in river-dominated systems; Long-term ecosystem dynamics in pulsed river coastal environments.

Location: Stennis Space Center; Gulf Coast Research Laboratory; Marine Research Center, Port of Gulfport.

Polymers, Engineering

Dr. Jeff Wiggins, Director of the School of Polymer Science and Engineering.

Expertise: Polymer research involving development of products for application in the private and public sectors.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Research, Patents

Dr. Gordon Cannon, Vice President for Research.

Expertise: University’s chief research officer. He currently is part of a multinational team of researchers who seek to obtain structural information of the carboxysome, the CO2 fixing module of many environmentally important bacteria.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Social Media

Dr. David Davies, Professor, Director of the School of Mass Communication and Journalism.

Expertise: the press and the Civil Rights Movement and trends in American newspapers since World War II.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Southern Literature

Dr. Katherine Cochran, Associate Professor of English; Southern Quarterly Editor.

Expertise: Southern literature and culture; Mississippi writers; children’s and young adult literature.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Sports Safety and Security

Dr. Lou Marciani, Director of the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security.

Expertise: Best practices in sports safety; risk management workshops; international partnerships; INTERPOL.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

Suicide Causes, Prevention

Dr. Michael Anestis, Associate Professor, Chair of Clinical Admissions.

Expertise: Risk factors for suicidal behavior in both military and civilian populations. Suicide risk factors of particular interest include firearms, the capacity for suicide, pain response, and emotion dysregulation. Projects also consider risk factors for non-suicidal self-injury.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.

U.S. Foreign Relations

Dr. Heather Stur, Associate Professor of History.

Expertise: teaches courses on U.S. foreign relations, women and war, the global Cold War, the U.S. since 1945, world history, war and diplomacy, and international relations. She is also the director of USM’s Vietnam Summer Studies Program, a three-week study abroad trip in which students are immersed in Vietnamese history, politics, and culture.

Location: Hattiesburg campus.